Cricket: Devizes hold on for narrow victory in rain-shortened match
Marlborough's title hope received a blow at home to Devizes on Saturday in the match very kindly sponsored by Peter Stirland Ltd garage of Hungerford.
Poor weather in the morning meant that the game was in jeopardy but amazing work from skipper Tom Norris and committee member Martin Smithers who both sopped up gallons of water off the outfield meant that the game went ahead with both sides reduced to 40 overs per side.
Winning the toss and electing to bowl Marlborough's bowlers found the Devizes batsmen in an attacking mood as Devizes reached 153-5 off their 40 overs, with star man Joe Wookey top scoring with 37 while Tim Saye 36 and Jonathan Skull 31 provided excellent support, with trees bowlers George Fox, Ben Head, Alex Cox, Mike Bush and Mark Wingfield-Digby all taking a wicket each.
In reply Marlborough opener and super star Head set out about the task with earnest and when joined by skipper Norris the trees looked to be in a strong position. But after losing Head for 43 and Norris for 25 Marlborough slumped to 92-6.
Young wicket keeper Archie Wheeler with 29 and vice-Captain Will Langton with 19 got Marlborough back in the game but both went and Marlborough fell an agonizing 6 runs short of victory finishing on 148-9 off their 40 overs.
Trees Skipper Norris was gracious in defeat "Overall the best team won, we were sloppy in the field and didn't put the ball in the right areas. We lost two early wickets had a slight recovery but losing 5, 6 and 7 killed us though Wheeler and Langton showed a lot of character to almost get us home".
Marlborough 2nd game away to Biddestone fell victim to the weather.